Injured Indy 500 crewmember discharged from hospital, recovering from surgery

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INDIANAPOLIS – Chris Minot, the Rahal Letterman Lanigan crewmember who was injured during a pit top in Sunday’s 103rd Indianapolis 500, was discharged from IU Health Methodist Hospital Monday following surgery to his leg on Sunday night. The chief mechanic known as “Chachi” hopes to return to action in the NTT IndyCar Series soon.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing issued a statement on Sunday night following the Indianapolis 500.

“We were relieved to hear that Chris was in good spirits before surgery on his left leg,” the statement said. “He will be held overnight at IU Health Methodist Hospital. He has been a member of this team for almost 10 years and is a big asset. We have no doubt that he will come back stronger.”

Minot was getting ready to change the right-front tire on Jordan King’s Honda (pictured above), but King came into the pits and lost control. His car hit one of the wheels that was laid out for the pit stop and that wheel crashed into Minot, who was in his kneel down position to change the wheel.

The AMR Safety crew tended to Minot before carting him off pit lane. After a quick evaluation at the IU Health Infield Hospital, he was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital in downtown Indianapolis.

King started 26th and had been running 21st before his second pit stop on Lap 69.  King lost control of the car and slid into the rear tire was set out to be put on and into the path of Minot, chief mechanic for the entry and outside front tire changer.  King later served a drive through penalty on Lap 80 while running in 20th place, two laps down. He went on to finish 24th.

It was his first oval race and first Indianapolis 500.

“I’m thinking about Chachi (Chris Minot) obviously,” King said. “I’m really disappointed in myself for the team, really for everybody.  I think we had a pretty strong car.  We were looking quite strong and making progress and looking at how the race finished, I think we could’ve been in the top 10, so that’s quite hard to swallow.

“First bit of call is to check that everything’s okay at the hospital.  It’s not good, it’s not what you want to do (injure a crewman).  It’s not.  I don’t even know what to say.  I’m really disappointed in myself and for everyone involved.  We could have had a good race but didn’t, so that’s that.”

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.